big sigh.

wow, i can’t believe how long it’s been since i’ve sat down to write a blog post! like i’ve said before, i think about it all the time! there are things i want (and need) to vent, err, write about but i always think about it at the most in-opportune times; when i’m at work, driving my truck, putting my son to bed, etc. … i’m actually pretty impressed that i decided to sit down now and do this! i enjoy blogging/writing/etc but i find that life seems to be busy lately and i don’t want to sit at the computer to write a blog when there’s laundry to do, dishes to wash or just tidying up in general to take care of. that, and sometimes i just feel like sitting in my big recliner and falling asleep watching tv instead of using my brain at the end of the day (hehe).

what made me think of blogging this time around is the fact that, for the first time ever, i’m going on an overnight shopping trip with a girlfriend tomorrow (hi Laura!) – weeeeeee!! i’m so excited! not only because it’s the first time i’m doing this, but because it’s like a little mini vacation away from my crazy toddler (whom i adore but naturally need a little time away from).

i was feeling overwhelmed with work (and family) and hadn’t had a lot of time to myself – even bathroom trips alone are a rarity when you’re the parent of a curious little child … i decided to take a little break from the wedding photobooks and freelance design work that i do. back in the spring, actually, right around the time that i wrote my last blog post, we were going through some intense sleep issues with our son and everything started to pile up on me. all of my “free time” was being occupied by working for someone else. i would come home from my part-time job and hubby would head upstairs to go to bed (since he’s on midnights). i’d hang out with our little man, put him to bed and then sit down at the computer to work on photobooks, logo design, etc sometimes until midnight or after. i was doing this almost every night of the week (on top of that, add in laundry, dishes, tidying etc). i think i finally came to a breaking point when my son conveniently went through his sleep-rejection bout, as i like to call it. i was snapping at my husband and our son over the silliest and smallest little things. i wasn’t being the person i wanted to be; the wife and mother that i should and used to be. the stress of working too much was starting to take over and i finally noticed.

after a few weeks of less-work-and-more-me-time things started to change. my attitude improved, my stress-level dropped and i was happier. i wanted (and needed) to spend more time with my family and friends and was finally able to start making that a reality. it’s been an amazing and eye-opening experience over the last 4 months and i don’t intend for things to every return to how they were.

i’ll keep it short and sweet as i have laundry to finish and my overnight bag has yet to be packed … this mama is ready for some girl time!

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memories of grandpa g

as i sat down tonight with a cup of tea and some chocolate chip cookies tonight, memories of my grandfather came to mind. my hubby had just left for work and i decided i’d have a little snack before heading downstairs to do some freelance. i quite enjoy dipping cookies (especially chocolate chip or rainbow chocolate chip) in my tea. that warm, soft, goey texture is just soooo good! especially after a long day chasing around my adorable, little-ball-of-crazy-energy son. although, i must admit, it’s hard to not eat the whole bag! we can’t keep cookies in the house for that very reason; i just love them too much, and i get it honestly. when i was a child i, apparently, used to always need to have 2 of everything, especially cookies. and now, my son is following in my footsteps but, really, can you blame him? who wants just one cookie! that’s crazy talk.

i fondly remember my dad’s father telling me that he’d wake up every night between 3-4am, head upstairs, eat 5 cookies and then go back to bed. he used to try to bring them back to bed with him but my grandmother wasn’t too fond of being woke up by his crunching and munching, lol. he said, sometimes you just need to have a few cookies; even if it’s the middle of the night. i pictured him sitting in his button down pajamas (a matching dark blue long-sleeved set is the one i remember most) in the rocking chair and enjoying his late night/early morning indulgence. he definitely had a sweet tooth! when i was a child he used to give me a loonie to go to the variety store around the corner from his house to buy candy (and back then, you could get a lot for a dollar!). i think now you’d probably just get one chocolate bar, and really, what fun is that.

as much as he loved his sweets, he was one of the pickiest eaters. when i worked at our local newspaper, i frequently had lunch dates with my grandparents. they’d pick me up from work and we’d go to a restaurant of their choosing. my grandfather’s meal of choice was almost always wieners & beans or a hot-beef sandwich. he’d always bring the leftovers home (as a man in his late 80’s he didn’t eat much), but they were for the dog, of course. he also used to put the little sugar, butter, jam and peanut butter packets in his pocket to take home for later. he tried to sneak them into my grandmother’s purse but she would scold him for trying to do so, haha. i would often get a soup & sandwich combo which, naturally, came with a dill pickle on the side. oh how i LOVE dill pickles! well, my grandpa didn’t. even the smell of them was enough to drive him batty. if a food looked funny he wouldn’t eat it; smelled different, nope; a colour other than the “normal” colours (say pink), no way. ahhh memories.

i often think about how much fun it would be to be able to see him with my son. he’d get a kick out of his silly behaviour and definitely would’ve teased him to a ridiculous extent because, well, that’s what he used to do to us! sadly, he passed away 3 months before the little man was born.

he was a wonderful, silly, old fart who’s family meant more than anything in the world to him. i know that one day i’ll see him again and until then, i’ll do my best to be as wonderful and silly as he was.

MeandGrandpaG

it’s a blog

here i sit at my computer, 11:21pm on Sunday night. there are SO many things i’ve been thinking about blogging lately but just haven’t found the time to do so. it’s been a little busy around here. and by a little, i mean, A LOT. everyday we have something going on, whether it’s big or small, there’s always something preoccupying our time instead of just being able to sit and enjoy our little family. for example, i had to work 11-5 today. since hubby is on midnights my mom came over to watch the little guy so that the big guy could sleep. i got home close to 6pm, we had dinner and then put our wee man to bed. tomorrow afternoon we have an in-house appointment for transferring funds to a spousal rrsp; i work  on Tuesday so hubby will stay up to hang out with the little guy until i’m home and then he’ll sleep until he needs to head to work for his midnight shift. little man and i may be visiting with a friend of mine that day as well. Wednesday we actually have no plans (shhhh, don’t tell anyone). Thursday we have a funeral in the morning (sudden death on my father’s side of the family). Friday we’re visiting with my sister (YAY!). i work Saturday & Sunday so we’ll have one of the grandmas over to watch the little man so hubby can sleep, and that brings us back to Sunday night. somewhere in there we need to get groceries, cut the little guy’s hair, clean the house (which is seemingly neverending), dye my hair, work on photobooks, do freelance design, oh, maybe some laundry, perhaps squeeze in a workout or two and maybe, just maybe, find some time to relax. sigh.

i promise i’ll get back into the swing of things and my usual tone of blogs; i just need to find the time … i’m heading off to bed. thinking about being busy is making me tired, go figure!

 

are you tired? i’m tired.

i was sitting here at my computer sending out an email proof for a photobook (for my friends over at Renaissance Studios) and my mind started to wander, like it tends to do, especially when my toddler isn’t around to distract me. i can see him on the monitor, sound asleep, looking rather comfy in his new grobag sleepsack. it reminds me that i probably should get more sleep instead of the 5ish hours i’ve been getting all week since my hubby started midnights. i feel like my free time lately has been spent doing everything except what i’d actually like to be doing (like working on little man’s halloween costume, or sorting through our closets and storage area, or just relaxing, crocheting something new which i haven’t done in over a year).

i need a rest. a day to myself (mostly); a day where i actually go to bed at a decent hour (instead of sometime between 12:30 and 2am). a day where i don’t check my email (hahahahaha). a day just for me. but then when i think about taking a whole day to myself i feel guilty and i know i’ll miss my son … ok, so maybe i just need like half a day – that would work, i think. half a day for me! it’s very tiring working part time at a retail store, designing wedding photo albums, doing freelance graphic design, keeping our house looking (somewhat) decent, not letting the laundry pile up too high, chasing around my 20 month old son (eep! where has the time gone!), oh and squeezing in some time to spend with my amazing husband. it seems as though my 24 hour day is really only 12 hours, 5 of which i’m sleeping, 2 where my son naps (or should be) and then there’s maybe 5 hours to do all those aforementioned things. i know i may be exaggerating a little but it sure doesn’t feel like it!

being a parent is tiring more than anything. i love my son, a bigger love than i ever thought possible, but i also love my sleep (and really, who doesn’t). and, i need sleep to function a little better than i have been lately. hubby and i haven’t really had much time to ourselves since he started midnights last Sunday (and he worked OT last night, is there right now working and will be working more OT again tomorrow night. long weekend? nah). he’s at work when i’m sleeping and i wake up shortly after he gets home. he sleeps until around the time the little guy wakes up from his nap and then it’s the 3 of us until wee man goes to bed and then the routine starts over. i’m sure things will get easier as he gets comfortable in his new schedule but this first week has been long. add to that me being at work, hubby doing a few photoshoots on the side (check out his work here!), oh and it’s Thanksgiving this weekend too so pile on the turkey, pie and visiting … aaaaaand being with our son, who seems to be a bit of a mama’s boy lately. i don’t really mind this, except for when we’re at the grocery store, like today, for example, when any time i stepped more than a foot away from the cart (2 feet maybe to grab an item off a shelf – don’t go shopping on Thanksgiving weekend, it was a zoo! but i didn’t have much choice as our cupboards were looking pretty bare) little man would shout, “mom! mom! moooooom!”. let me tell you, an hour and a half of that, plus him pulling every item he could reach out of the cart wore my patience thin. oh, and add in his defiance towards his car seat. sorry sweetie, seatbelts and carseats are not optional, especially at your age.

i feel like i’m falling asleep while i type this so perhaps i should turn in for the night; or at least go upstairs and crawl into bed and maybe read (or shop around on Etsy, hehe). i miss the days when little man would just cuddle up and snooze on me; where i could crawl into bed and if he fussed just bring him in to sleep curled up beside me. i miss his newborn smell, his little coos and big sighs BUT i love, so much, the little boy he’s becoming. he may not be a baby anymore but he’ll always be my baby.

i really should be doing something else right now …

i wasn’t going to blog tonight but well, here i am. i have a thousand other little things on my mind right now …

• i’m tired
• i don’t want to finish the laundry but there’s little boy clothes in the dryer and bed sheets, towels and more just waiting to be washed
• i need to tidy the back laundry/storage room
• the fall wreath should go on the door
• where can i get some orange & yellow mums for the pot on the front porch
• i wonder if hubby will notice the little sticker face (with moustache) that i added to one of the pumpkins on the front step
• the dishes are piling up but i don’t want to make any extra noise because little man had a tough time going to bed tonight and i wonder how long it’s going to take him to fall asleep (he’s still up right now, turning his glow worm on and off and talking to himself, babbling and saying mom! mom! and it’s almost 10pm)
• will he wake up in the night and need comforting
• will i be able to get to sleep at a decent time tonight
• why is there dog hair on my keyboard
• why does our hound lose more hair than any pet i’ve ever owned
• the house needs to be vacuumed/dusted/swept
• i wish we had more storage space
• speaking of that i need to organize the laundry room (yes, again)
• i need to make time this weekend to read up on the new products coming into work (before my shift on Monday)
• i hope i’m happy with my hair appointment tomorrow morning
• i should be on the treadmill instead of sitting on my ass typing this right now
• i need to go through our things and make some donations
• why can’t i just win the lottery, move to the country and be debt free?
• i hope the little guy is asleep by the time hubby gets home from work tonight (he rode the Triumph soooo it’s a little noiser than, you know, anything else we own, well, except for our son)
• maybe we should visit my parents this weekend and get them to take our dog for a few days before we dog-sit their dog next week
• where is the dog?
• i should work on my new business cards
• i want ketchup chips right now, mmm
• maybe i should have a cider?

i could go on but i don’t want to bore you (or myself) any longer. it was a long day today and i’m hoping that tonight goes smooth … little man has 4 more teeth coming in (he currently has 12 so this will just leave his 2 year molars yet to come, oh joy) so he’s been extra whiny, cuddly, picky, hyper, crazy etc. plus, i like to say he’s going into the terrible two’s at 19.5 months. he’s into everything! it’s a fun age but a tiring one nonetheless. because he’s so busy during the day, he’s been extra snuggly at bedtime, which is fine by me. i love the way his little hand grabs my face and pulls me close so that i kiss his forehead and when i pull back after kissing him he reaches up again and rests his hand on my neck. i need to think about those times when he’s been wild and crazy and just running through the house screaming for no reason other than the fact that he can do just that. ahhh life with a little boy.

as much as i’m exhausted both mentally and physically from working part time, designing wedding photobooks, doing freelance design, chasing around my toddler, spending time with my amazing husband and trying to keep up with friends and family, i wouldn’t trade it for the world.

busy busy, fun fun.

as much as i love blogging (a.k.a. venting, mostly) life has been über busy lately. our little man will be 17 months old as of this weekend. holy crapola, where has the time gone?! i’ll tell you where; to late night nursing and cuddles, to walks with our hound dog, visits with friends and family, learning to sit up, crawling, standing, feeding himself, walking (and now running), talking, playing and learning. and the list goes on. it’s hard to remember what it felt like when he first came into our lives; a tiny little bundle of love; a little babe who it seemed would stay young and sweet forever. i didn’t realize how fast time truly goes by until i had a baby. i fondly remember sitting in the rocking chair in his room nursing him and just staring at those big, beautiful blue eyes (and ridiculously long lashes) and touching his amazingly soft skin. just sitting and cuddling on the couch not caring about anything but this perfect little man … but now, oh boy, now is different! good, but different. constantly running after him, wondering what he could possibly get into while i try run to the bathroom and pee as fast as humanly possible before those sweet little hands of his open the bathroom door and he peeks in to say “pee!”  … keeping up with the laundry, dishes and sweeping (urgh, the sweeping!) picktwo_parentingthat comes with owning a coonhound, not to mention the regular things around the house that need to get done, and that i’d like to get done (say, tidying the kitchen? bedroom? basement?). most of those things get left on the backburner until hubby gets home from work to help parent. which reminds me, i saw this awesome cartoon the other day that perfectly depicted how things are at our house right now (most of the time anyway) with a toddler on the loose … if you have young children you’ll understand why this is so great.

i really should be working on photobooks (for my awesome friends over at Renaissance Studios) and my freelance design right now (check out my facebook page here) while hubby puts the little guy to bed but, i felt the need to blog, vent, etc. i enjoy writing about our son and what’s going on in our lives. i plan to (one day, not sure how soon) print out my blogs and save them in a little notebook/binder etc so that i can look back and remember the good, the bad and the, sometimes, ugly. there are so many things i still want and plan to write about, like last week when our little guy pooped in his kiddie pool, not one, but two days in a row, and one of the days daddy wasn’t home to help clean up, good times i tell ya. about how he runs around the house yelling mom! mom! how he randomly will yell Da! daaaaaddy! while out grocery shopping (and his dad is not with us, but at work) and how he calls grandpa “bap ba” and grandma “mah ma”. how he hoots like an owl whenever he sees any bird (owl or otherwise). and how so many things you never imagined could be “dut” (stuck) or dirty or “dot” (hot).

and one day, i hope my son will read some of these ramblings and be able to get a sneak peek of how things were growing up, the good, the bad, and the, sometimes, ugly.

stumbling into freelance

for any “creatives” reading this, you’ll know what i mean when i say it’s not easy diving into the truly competitive world of freelance graphic design. when i first started college (back in 2000), my fellow classmates and i were under the impression that we’d be successful designers, with lots of opportunities for amazing, rewarding careers. where creativity knew no bounds and had no limitations. little did we know that it would be such a competitive, and over-populated line of work. there are now more freelance designers than there are paid designers, which doesn’t make designing an easy job to get into. the good positions at design firms are rarely up for grabs, as those who hold such positions wouldn’t leave unless they had no other choice. being successful as a designer isn’t easy. there’s always someone else out there who’ll do the same work, for less money and in a shorter timeframe. crappy, eh? then there are places like Walmart and Vistaprint, and programs such as Microsoft Word that give non-designers a false sense of creativity. i went to college, paid good money in tuition, and worked my butt off for almost 11 years at a newspaper and design hub to now be an unemployed graphic artist. sigh. it wasn’t my choice persay. after working at a small newspaper for 7 years i was told that our design department (and every other one at every other newspaper across the province) would be shutting down, and that i had a choice to transfer to another city (about a 15 minute time difference in my daily commute) or take a severance package. i honestly debated the severance. however, being sensible, i decided to transfer my position to a design hub where over 40 designers would work, in shifts, mass producing advertisements for all of the newspapers & flyers from Ottawa to Windsor. i received a minor pay raise but by comparison, i was still earning far below the “average” wage of a graphic artist/designer. i needed a job and since i’d been with the company for a while all of my benefits, holidays, etc would transfer over so i figured why not! a few years after being there we realized we couldn’t keep up with the amount of work coming in so the powers-that-be decided to send work off shore – literally. they started sending design work to India, INDIA! really? we couldn’t afford to keep the jobs in Ontario, let alone in Canada? (rumour had it that the President of the company was building a new hockey arena, so we all joked that he needed to save money for that, which now seems feasible). as time passed more and more of our work was being sent off shore, so i suppose i shouldn’t have been surprised when 4 years after transferring there, and only a few months after finding out i was pregnant, i was told that again, i would have to decide between transferring and taking a severance package. this time the new location was 3 hours from home, yikes! i honestly didn’t have to think hard about my decision. i took a salary continuance (instead of a lump sum) so that i’d still have an income, sort-of, for the remainder of my pregnancy. it ultimately worked out,with my continuance ending a month before my son was born and my maternity leave/pay starting. however, i’m now at the point where my mat leave has ended, the cheques have stopped coming in and i’m without employment. for the first time in 13 years i’m jobless! it isn’t quite as horrific as i thought it’d be, although i feel guilty being at home with our son and not bringing in any income. hence my decision in starting to do some freelance design work. i’m hoping that with my experience in print work that i can at least bring in a little extra spending money for hubby and me, we’ll see.

SweetLittleMama_BusCards

i’ve done stag & doe tickets, business cards, logo design, brochures, pamphlets, flyers, rack cards, photobooks, posters, party invites, baby & wedding shower invites, the list goes on. if you’d like to check out some samples of my work, stumble over to www.facebook.com/sweetlittlemama … in the meantime, i’m off to let the creative juices start flowing. well, only until my son wakes up from his nap.